You can use Windows Media Player to copy songs from audio CDs to your computer. This process is called ripping.

During the ripping process, the Player makes a copy of each song, stores it on your hard disk as a Windows Media Audio (WMA), MP3, or WAV file, and then adds it to your Player Library. For more information about the Player Library, see Getting started with Windows Media Player.

Picture of ripping in progress
Ripping a music CD

After you've ripped your CD collection, you can use the Player to do any of the following:

Watch this video to learn how to rip music from a CD (1:00)
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To rip music from a CD

If Windows Media Player isn't open, it will open in Now Playing mode when an audio CD is inserted into the CD drive. If the Player Library is open when you insert a CD, then the Player Library will remain open. You can rip a CD and adjust rip settings in either mode. Click the Switch to Library button Picture of the Switch to Library button or the Switch to Now Playing button to Picture of the Switch to Now Playing mode button toggle between modes.
Picture of rip controls
Rip controls in the Player Library

For more information about Now Playing mode and the Player Library, see Getting started with Windows Media Player. For more information about rip settings, see Change settings for ripping music.

To rip music from a CD, do the following:

  1. For best results, make sure that you are connected to the Internet before you begin.

    When your computer is connected to the Internet, the Player attempts to retrieve media information about the tracks being ripped from an online database. The Player then adds the information to the files during ripping.

    Note that you can rip a CD when your computer isn't connected to the Internet. However, the Player won't be able to identify the name of the CD, the artist who created it, or the names of the songs until you go online.

  2. Insert an audio CD into the CD drive.

  3. (Optional) If you want to select a different format (for example, MP3 instead of WMA) or bit rate (for example, 192 Kbps instead of 128 Kbps) for the files created during ripping, in the Player Library, click the Rip settings menu, and then click Format or Audio Quality.

  4. (Optional) If you don't want to rip every song, in the Player Library, clear the check boxes next to the songs you don't want to rip.

  5. Click the Rip CD button Picture of the Rip CD button in Now Playing mode in Now Playing mode or Rip CD in the Player Library to begin ripping.

    After the songs have been ripped, you can find and play them in the Player Library.

    Notes

    • The Player stores ripped songs in the Music library on your computer. If you delete your Music library or remove all locations from it, then you won't be able to rip music from a CD. For more information about adding and removing locations in the Music library, see Add items to the Windows Media Player Library. For more information about restoring a deleted library, see Libraries: frequently asked questions.

    • You might be prompted to manually add missing media information after ripping has completed. To learn how to add or edit media information after ripping, see the steps below. For more information about how to edit media information, see Add or edit media information in Windows Media Player.

To add or edit media information after ripping

  1. Connect to the Internet.

    If media information is missing because you weren't connected to the Internet during ripping, the media information typically will appear for the newly ripped tracks soon after you connect to the Internet. If it doesn't, or if the information isn't correct, continue with the following steps to add or edit the information. If you don't have Internet access, you can manually edit the media information.

  2. Click the Start button Picture of the Start button, click All Programs, and then click Windows Media Player.
    If the Player is currently open and you’re in Now Playing mode, click the Switch to Library button Picture of the Switch to Library button in the upper-right corner of the Player.
  3. In the Player Library, browse to the album you just ripped.

  4. Right-click the album, and then click Find album info.

  5. If you get an error message that says you must change your privacy settings, do the following:

    1. Click Organize, click Options, and then click the Privacy tab.

    2. Select the Update music files by retrieving media info from the Internet check box.

    3. Repeat steps 3 and 4.

  6. Do one of the following:

    • If the correct album or artist information appears in the search results, select the correct entry, and then follow the instructions on the page to automatically update the album art and media information. If the correct album doesn't appear in the search results, follow the instructions on the page to search again using different search criteria or to add the media information manually.

    • If the correct album information appears with a generic music icon displayed as the album art, then the album art isn't available for download.

    For more information about how to edit media information, see Add or edit media information in Windows Media Player.

Note

  • Unauthorized use and/or duplication of copyrighted material may be a violation of copyright law in the United States and/or other countries/regions (for example, it is a violation in the UK). Copyrighted material includes, but is not limited to, software, documentation, graphics, lyrics, photographs, clipart, animations, movie and video clips, as well as sound and music (including when MP3 encoded). Violation of international copyright laws may subject you to significant civil and/or criminal penalties.



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